Well hello there, July. How did this year fly by SO quickly. I am now at 12 weeks til Berlin Marathon. Can I hit the pause button please?
Finishing up a marathon season and heading into a new one calls for a reassessment of goals and a good refocus. I sometimes think it's great to apply beginning of year resolution mentality to new goal setting for a new marathon season. I mean it's essentially OUR new beginning. So whether you have a marathon season starting up, lost track of goals you had in the beginning of the year and need some refocusing, or just plain old need to set some new goals in your life- this is for you. We're starting the second half of the year and now is as good of time as any to reassess and get back down to business.
So let's goal set!
1. Spend some time evaluating where you are now- and where you would like to be. Sometimes it helps to talk to a friend/mentor- they can see you and your fitness better than you can at times and they can push you further than you thought possible.
2. Set tangible goals. You know those goals that are so lofty and vague that there is no tangible way to measure the results (i.e. I would like to be as fast as Meb). Yah- let’s not do that. The best way to be successful in accomplishing goals is actually setting ones that you can measure success and that are within reach (i.e. I would like to run a 3:14 marathon).
3. Figure out how to get from Point A to Point B. What good are goals if you don’t have an action plan to get you there. Get with a coach/mentor and have them help you figure out what you need to be doing to push past any plateaus and start making new gains- in distance or speed.
4. Commit to a schedule. It’s not enough to have good intentions and a lot of positive thinking. If it was, I would just be sitting on the couch eating Krispy Kremes dreaming myself thin/a gold medal Olympian marathoner. At some point, you have to buy in to the goal and really commit to getting there. How are you going to make this plan a reality? What are you willing to do/give up/facilitate in order for this to happen?
5. Get outside your comfort zone. You won’t be hitting new and crazy goals by doing exactly what you have been doing for years. Mix it up, baby.
6. Get mentored. Don’t be afraid to make yourself accountable to someone. All the elites have coaches and mentors- and they have the discipline of a Tibetan monk- so what makes you think you will be successful in reaching your goal if you are out there going rogue.
7. Set a deadline. When is this goal going to happen? By putting a deadline on it, you create the urgency and the need to be accountable and faithful to the process to make this goal a reality.
8. Trust the process. There will be amazing days- where you are on top of the world (Is it possible that I may accidentally in my goal marathon qualify for the Olympic Trials?) and days when you think that your speed workout resembles powerwalking at a retirement home. Don’t give up on your goals and things you have committed to because of some bad days. Regroup and stay positive. Everyone has off days.
9. Write this goal everywhere. Or tattoo it on your body (just kidding). But seriously- see the goal. Have it be something you wake up to and go to bed to. It needs to be so engrained in your consciousness. Tell people about it- let them be on your team supporting you to reach this goal.
This last year I became sold on goal setting in my running and it paid off in huge ways (I BQ-ed twice last summer for first time ever after basically taking the year before off). I enjoyed my running more and got to see myself hitting big goals that I wasn’t sure were possible. This year has been a little tougher with some overtraining setbacks (but hey! I'm NOT injured!!) That being said- it's even more important for me to set goals and to reignite that hope to get me back out to do some work and make my goals a reality.
A couple of my goals in the lead up to Berlin:
- Commit to my marathon schedule (and in that vein, got to actually make it tonight.)
- Commit to Barre (at least 4 times) and Kayla (kaylaitsines.com) workouts (at least 3 times) a week. Something that I was missing last season was strength and I had seen it play such a huge role in my buildup to M2B and Cottonwood marathons. I was too busy/running too many miles to find the time needed for it- so this time around, I'm working it into my schedule as a priority.
- Track each week (I had been MIA on track during Boston) and even though it's painful going back after such a long hiatus, the ugly has to happen SOMETIME. Better to just get it over with now and get some good workouts in again.
- Not to be race trigger happy. This girl is over raced and needs to save her legs for the real deal. I'll do two shorter tune-up races before Berlin- but besides that, putting my head down and working hard.
- Eating clean. I usually eat pretty healthy- but I got into some bad habits when I was running a million miles a week (it takes a lot of calories to feed an 80-mile-a-weeker) so cutting out those unnecessary calories and just giving myself the right fuel to get my runs done while not putting on weight is da goal.
- To really believe in my goals and stay super positive. Always harder to come back after a bad race (or in my case 2 bad marathons back2back)- but a bad race(s) doesn't define me. I know I have what it takes to pull off a great race and I'm gonna stay positive and super motivated to get the job done in Berlin.
- Ok so maybe those are the minor goals to get me to my major time goal for the next race… I'm going to keep it at the same place that my Cottonwood and Boston time goal originally was. Hoping Berlin is where I finally get it done. But in the next twelve weeks, I have a LOT of work to do. ;-)
Hope you set some crazy goals for the year and commit in the day-to-day to making them happen!